When I was a teenager my dad was always banging on about how great German supermarket chain Lidl was. And by “great”, he obviously meant “cheap”. “You can get a tin of beans for 5p,” he’d say. Inevitably, I’d open the kitchen cupboard and it’d be full of 5p beans with weird Euro-sounding brand names and the sort of packaging you’d only ever encounter on a foreign holiday.
Well, clearly the grape didn’t fall far from the vine, because now I’m going on about Lidl wine. Yeah I know, it’s no secret that they stock a decent range, but I only just found out about it while visiting a friend — I don’t have a branch anywhere near me.
I was planning to buy a bottle of red to go with some slow-cooked short rib, but I couldn’t decide what to go for so I ended up with three: a Fleurie (Gamay grape from Beaujolais), a Barolo (Nebbiolo from Italy) and a Côtes de Nuits (white Burgundy, made from Chardonnay with a dash of Sauvignon Blanc).
I guess it’s a shame for producers that the profit margins on these wines are so low, but it’s obviously great news for the sort of consumer who wouldn’t normally be able to splash out £15-20 on a bottle of AOP Burgundy. They even have fancy wooden shelves à la Waitrose and… a points system.
Here’s a closer look at what I picked up. I’ll be back for more…
Fleurie, 2015. £7.99. An outstanding price for this red, which scores a 90 on the Lidl points scale. I picked up cherry and menthol here, with a longish finish and med/high tannin.
Hautes Côtes de Nuits, 2015. £8.99. This was my favourite. An elegant white, typically French, with gooseberry on the nose and palate, a slight Chardonnay creamyness, but also with a touch of smokey “fumé” from the Sauvignon. Scores 87 Lidl points.
Barolo, 2010. £10.99. This wasn’t actually in their “fine wines” section, despite being the most expensive. Exhibiting the rusty orange colour characteristic of ageing, this hearty red went well with our beef, but ideally needs to breathe for a while to soften up the tannin.
Come and get ’em…